Mangochi Cholera Scare Cleared, Surveillance Continues

Results from the Community Health Services Unit (CHSU) National Reference Laboratory on the sample taken from a patient suspected to be suffering from cholera in Mangochi has tested cholera negative.

Mangochi District Environmental Health Officer (DEHO), Kondwani Mamba, disclosed this to Mana on Saturday evening in a follow up to earlier communication that had hinted possibility of the outbreak having reached the lakeshore district.

On Friday, Mamba had communicated through the district council’s official social forum that Mangochi District Health Office (DHO) had registered the first suspected case of cholera on Thursday, 18th January.

He said the suspected patient was a woman from Chapola Village, Traditional Authority Chimwala under Kukalanga Health Centre and that investigations were still underway as specimen had been sent to CHSU National reference laboratory to ascertain whether it was indeed cholera or not.

But Saturday evening Mamba told Mana that the sample tested cholera negative and with that, Mangochi district was still at zero in terms of cholera cases.

One sample from Mangochi was analyzed today at CHSU National Reference laboratory and the result is cholera negative,” Mamba said.

He added: “So we are still at zero but that doesn’t mean we are relaxing; we are still intensifying our surveillance and preventive measures in the area where the suspected case came from and in all other cholera prone areas across the district.”

Meanwhile, the Mangochi DHO has distributed chlorine solution to all households in Chapola Village for household water treatment as most of the community members in the area use water from Lake Malombe.

Since the onset of the outbreak, Mangochi DHO has conducted awareness campaign in cholera prone areas throughout the district sensitizing people on preventive and best hygiene practices to arrest the outbreak.

So far, four deaths have been recorded in Karonga since the outbreak of the disease started in November last year in the northern region.

Reports show that by January 19, there were 199 reported cholera cases, according to an update released by Malawi Red Cross Society (MRCS).